Spanish nanotech company TECNAN is offering a nanoparticle-based coating that repels liquid, yet still allows the underlying material to breathe.
The hydrophobic coating, known as TECNADIS, is made by suspending nanoparticles in a liquid carrier – the identity of those particles is a trade secret, although by altering their concentration, the properties of the coating can be fine-tuned for different applications. When applied to materials such as concrete, ceramic, brick, stone or wood, TECNADIS causes any liquid subsequently applied to them to bead up and roll off instead of soaking in. It doesn’t completely seal their pores, however, so air can still pass in and out of them, minimizing moisture retention-related problems such as mold.
The coating is completely transparent, and reportedly won’t change the color or surface texture of materials. It stands up to regular cleaning methods, along with UV light exposure, and is said to remain effective for over ten years.